Chan­nel routes will be hit by no deal Brexit – Minister

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Uk & World News - DAVID HUGHES, AN­DREW WOODCOCK & DAVID WILCOCK

ANO-DEAL Brexit could lead to six months of chaos on key cross-Chan­nel routes, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Gov­ern­ment as­sess­ment.

Fer­ries be­tween Dover and Calais and traf­fic us­ing the Chan­nel Tun­nel could be dis­rupted un­til the end of Septem­ber 2019.

A let­ter sent by Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try and NHS con­tained the warn­ing.

He said: “Al­though we can­not know ex­actly what each mem­ber state will do with re­spect to checks on the EU border, the cross-Gov­ern­ment plan­ning as­sump­tions have been re­vised so we can pre­pare for the po­ten­tial im­pacts that the im­po­si­tion of third coun­try con­trols by mem­ber states could have.

“These im­pacts are likely to be felt mostly on the short straits cross­ings into Dover and Folke­stone, where the fre­quent and closed loop na­ture of these mean that both ex­ports and im­ports would be af­fected.

“The re­vised cross-Gov­ern­ment plan­ning as­sump­tions show that there will be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced ac­cess across the short straits, for up to six months.

“This is very much a worst-case sce­nario; how­ever, as a re­spon­si­ble Gov­ern­ment, we have a duty to plan for all sce­nar­ios. “

Min­is­ters are draw­ing up plans to fly in vi­tal drugs and give pri­or­ity to lor­ries car­ry­ing med­i­cal sup­plies at grid­locked ports.

Kent Coun­cil’s leader Paul Carter called for emer­gency mea­sures to pre­vent lor­ries en­ter­ing the county to avoid chaos on the roads.

“We now need far more in­put and in­for­ma­tion from na­tional Gov­ern­ment in how they are go­ing to work with us,” he said.

“There must be a na­tional freight trans­port plan which, when nec­es­sary, can hold lor­ries back from com­ing into Kent in the first place should the need arise.”

With the Com­mons vote on Theresa May’s With­drawal Agree­ment ex­pected to re­sult in it be­ing re­jected by MPs, the risk of a no-deal Brexit could in­crease.

For­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Boris Johnson said the Brexit deal ob­tained from Brus­sels by Mrs May is sim­i­lar to the con­di­tions that might be im­posed on the de­feated side in a war.

As the Prime Minister sent se­nior col­leagues out around the coun­try to sell her deal, Mr Johnson re­peated his call for MPs to throw it out in the Com­mons vote next Tues­day.

The Prime Minister was com­ing un­der pres­sure to de­lay the De­cem­ber 11 vote. Anal­y­sis shows that of 163 MPs who have spo­ken, just 27 have in­di­cated they will back Mrs May’s deal com­pared to 122 – in­clud­ing 29 Tories – who will vote against.

We now need far more in­put and in­for­ma­tion from Gov­ern­ment

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